What we learned about how to use digital media

Posted by Renee Magyar on July 2, 2013

The top 3 things we learned about how to use digital and social media for rural advocacy.


1. Ship often, ship early.

When it comes to navigating the ever-changing ecosystem of digital media, perfect is truly the enemy of good. While thoughtful and strategic planning and execution is critical to being effective, we found that it is critical to publish media (whether a tweet, a blog post, or a video) when it's good and the time is right rather than stress over its perfection. One of the benefits of the ever changing digital media ecosystem is that it is conducive to rapid prototyping and that only by engaging and publishing on a consistent basis, will you be able to learn what works and adapt to continuously reach your audience.

2. Leverage 'high-touch' events.

There is still no substitute for the energy that comes from live and in-person events and face-to-face meetings. A twitter conversation might never be as effective as in person conversation and dialogue but it can help to prepare participants and those they are trying to reach before the event, continue the conversation and allow people to connect after the event, and amplify the good work and energy as it happens at the event. This amplification allows for those not aware of the event and interested parties not in your network to learn about your work. Amplifying the excitement and energy around an event great way reach policy makers and the media by demonstrating momentum and support around a certain issue. We found that leveraging events with collaborative digital media efforts was an excellent way to get more people involved and experimenting with digital media.

3. Make it fun!

This is the most important piece of our learning; digital media should be fun! As mentioned above, navigating the ever-changing digital media landscape can be daunting and leave you not knowing where to start or how to keep up. The upside to this is that it allows for us all to tap into our inner lifelong-learners and have fun with the experimentation. Digital media is about connecting with others, telling stories, and sharing ideas. Often, the issues that rural communities face can leave us feeling daunted and not knowing where to start and digital media offers us a fun way to share our ideas and stories to make an impact.